Tonga PM

Tonga PM meets with NZ Deputy Prime Minister in Auckland

Peters, who had requested the meeting, had offered to the Prime Minister his moral support and wished him an early recovery from the medical treatment he is undergoing at the Mercy Hospital.

The two leaders met Friday and took the opportunity to discuss the need for on-going cooperation between New Zealand and Tongan Governments, to address the drugs problem that the two countries are facing.

Discussions also focussed on Tonga’s new Parliamentary building, which the New Zealand and Australian Governments have committed to.

Tonga PM to promote weight loss by Pacific leaders

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva made the appeal in an interview with the Samoa Observer while discussing the impact of child obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Pacific.

Mr Pohiva said NCDs had everything to do with eating habits and lifestyle.

Pacific leaders meet and talk about the issue, yet initiatives they advocate do not have an impact, he said.

The effect in Tonga was telling, with life expectancy falling from 71 to 68 years of age, the prime minister said.

Tongan PM still not fully recovered from illness

Last month 'Akilisi Pohiva began his second term in the local intensive care unit with an unspecified illness.

Mr Pohiva said he had still not recovered and didn't know how long it would take before he will be. In the meantime he said he was resting and trying not to be too involved in the workings of government.

Mr Pohiva explained that he was following doctors' orders.

"They advised me not to be involved, to get away from Tonga for a while and then come back but I can't. I have to have a look at what had happened and our plan for the future," Mr Pohiva explained.

Tonga PM hints at passport sale probe woes

Mr Pohiva said if these bodies failed to carry out their core functions to the best of their abilities, corruption in Tonga will continue to increase.

Radio Tonga said at his media conference, just days out from the election, documents were handed out which mentioned a former prime minister Lord Tu'ivakano.

In reply, Lord Tu'ivakano said false and inaccurate information aiming to ruin other people's reputations can cause chaos.

He has asked candidates running for parliament to respect the law and let the police carry out their core functions.



Tonga PM Pōhiva has sacked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

It is understood Sovaleni and Lavemaau were dismissed effective from Friday, September 1 at 5pm.

Pōhiva was very disappointed with the ministers, the spokesperson said.

The Ministers were allegedly involved in a conspiracy which led to the king’s decision to dissolve the Parliament ordering fresh general election in November to replace the current MPs and cabinet.

Lord Maʻafu has been appointed the new Deputy Prime Minister while Hon. Poasi Tei took over Sovaleniʻs Minisitry of MEIDECC. Dr Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa is the new Minister of Finance.

Tonga's PM apologises to NZ leader Bill English for behavior of seasonal workers

Last night, 1 NEWS revealed a group of 15 workers were sent home after allegations they were giving underage girls alcohol, marijuana and money in exchange for sex.

The number of incidents involving seasonal workers has almost doubled in the last year to 40.

They were mostly alcohol-fuelled and included stealing cars and crashing, an assault and exposing to a ten-year-old girl.

In response to the 1 NEWS investigation, Akilisi Pohiva said incidents involving Tongans may have caused some uneasiness between the two countries.

Tonga leader says media misquoted his China comments

Earlier this month, it was reported Mr Pohiva said the Chinese would be running the country in a few years as Tonga's public servants did not work as hard as Chinese workers.

He also said Chinese businesses in Tonga have not been paying tax.

But in a press release this week the prime minister blamed the media for misunderstanding what he said.

Radio Tonga quoted the prime minister saying Tonga and China had enjoyed warm relations for nearly 20 years and this relationship continued to flourish and deepen.


Photo: AFP 'Akilisi Pohiva 

Tongan PM wants public broadcaster closed for not supporting his government

The Tonga Broadcasting Commission would be either closed down or sold off under legislation the Prime Minister says he intends to introduce.

Mr Pohiva has had very public differences with the TBC and its journalists in the past, calling for reporter Viola Ulakai to be sacked for asking tough questions of him at a press conference.

Tongan publisher Kalafi Moala says the Prime Minister appears to have decided to do something about his concerns, but he may not have much support from the rest of cabinet.

Tongan PM not worried about no-confidence motion

The motion was submitted this week and signed by seven Noble Representatives and three People's MPs including former Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu and sacked Internal Affairs Minister Fe'ao Vakata.

'Akilisi Pohiva said he continued to have the majority support of the 26-member parliament.

The motion is currently before the Parliamentary Privileges Standing Committee before a date for the motion is announced.

Mr Pohiva said he wanted to know on what basis the motion had been submitted.

No confidence motion against Tongan PM evaporates in House

The vote was scheduled for Monday and was to be brought by Lord Vaea, one of the Tongan nobles, but it did not eventuate.

When Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva visited New Zealand at the start of the month, he brought Lord Vaea with him, introducing him as the leader of the opposition.

Mr Pohiva said he was trying to be bipartisan and said John Key does the same when visiting Tonga.